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The tasting menu of a beautiful life has a few essential elements: a shimmering sea seen from a balcony perch, wood-burning fireplaces for cool evenings, and organic gardens just beyond your door.

Well, polish those silver dollars and get a taste of what you've been missing with an overnight stay ($486) at the Sooke Harbour House, an elegant boutique hotel on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

First we start with an amuse-bouche: house-made chocolate truffles and a bottle of premium sparkling wine await in your guest room, which also features ocean views, antique furniture, deep soaker tubs and, yes, the warmth of a wood-burning fireplace.

Next up on the menu is a tour of what Frommer's calls the inn's "magnificent seaside gardens". Lavender, rosemary, figs, passionflower, kiwis, plums and more find their habitat in this hotel's seasonal organic garden. You'll discover later that everything in the garden tastes as good as it looks, thanks to a team of chefs who draw from their natural environment to create gourmet meals.

...which brings us to the entree: as a part of your getaway, you'll be embarking on the hotel's Gastronomical Adventure, a seven-to ten-course tasting menu, prepared specially for you and highlighting the best seasonal ingredients available.

Sooke Harbour House is known as much for its fine dining restaurant as for its elegant rooms and fragrant gardens in fact, Vancouver magazine voted the dining room here Vancouver Island's best restaurant. Savour a meal of organic veal, duck, Pacific salmon, fresh scallops and more, all complemented by herbs freshly plucked from the garden.

The dessert course in this escape's tasting menu is simple and sweet: a retreat amongst lush landscapes and soothing waters where you are, indeed, what you eat. As Padma would say, "Pack your knives and go." Right now.

Escape kit

  • A one-night stay for two
  • House-made chocolate truffles and a bottle of premium sparkling wine
  • The Gastronomical Adventure: a seven- to ten-course dinner of seasonal ingredients
  • Hot breakfast for two, served in your guest room
  • Garden tour
  • Voted Vancouver Island's best restaurant
  • Book by 19 April

For details and to reserve your stay, visit LivingSocial Escapes. Plus, find out why there's an emphasis on the simpler, slower pleasures of life in Vancouver.

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